The Jerusalem Post

Verdict in Jordanian plot set for Monday


AMMAN (Reuters) – Jordan’s security court will hand down its verdict in the trial of a former royal confidant accused of destabiliz­ing the monarchy on Monday, an official source said.

The case revolves around prosecutio­n accusation­s that Bassem Awadallah, along with a minor royal, backed the aspiration­s of the former heir to the throne, Prince Hamzah, to replace the monarch.

The case shocked Jordan because it appeared to expose rifts within the ruling Hashemite family, which has been a beacon of stability in a volatile region in recent years

The estranged prince, who is also the half-brother of King Abdullah, was accused of liaising with disgruntle­d members of powerful tribes who dominate the security forces and form the bedrock of support for the monarchy.

Hamzah avoided punishment after pledging allegiance to the king, defusing the crisis that had led to his house arrest.

Awadallah, a Jordanian of Palestinia­n origin drawn from outside the traditiona­l palace entourage, allegedly advised Hamzah on critical tweets the prince wanted to send to further his ambitions.

Awadallah is charged with agitating to undermine Jordan’s political system and committing acts that threaten public security and sowing sedition. He has pleaded not guilty.

Legal experts have questioned the legality of a trial when the man at the center of the case, Prince Hamzah, is not in the dock.

The authoritie­s have said the trial process, held secretly on national security grounds, is fair.

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